By US Daily Review Staff.
Louisiana is known for many things, but high educational standards are not among them. The state’s very conservative governor is trying to change that according to an advocacy group. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal last week unveiled an expansive education reform agenda for the 2012 legislative session that, according to the group, “aims to significantly increase educational options for low-income families through a statewide expansion of the current New Orleans voucher program and the creation of a new tax rebate program.”
The Louisiana Federation for Children praised the governor’s plan, which places a strong emphasis on providing all children with educational opportunities—including private school choice—and is poised to significantly improve the quality of education afforded to all students throughout Louisiana.
“Parents and kids should not be trapped in a failing school because of their zip code, income, gender, or color,” Jindal said. “Every child has a right to an excellent education. That’s the promise of America.”
Under Jindal’s plan, the Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence program, which currently serves more than 1,800 students in New Orleans, would be expanded to allow low-income students from all across Louisiana to receive a voucher to attend a participating private school of their parents’ choice. The package also calls for creation of a tax rebate program, which would offer rebates for donations made to non-profit organizations that provide scholarships to children from low-income families to attend private schools.
“We commend Governor Jindal’s multi-faceted education reform package, which includes empowering parents through expanded educational options across the state,” said Eddie Rispone, chairman of the Louisiana Federation for Children.
Rispone, who serves as chairman of ISC, a national engineering and construction company based in Baton Rouge, also praised state leaders for lending their support to Jindal’s plan.
“The governor’s bold plan to transform publicly-funded education in Louisiana will ensure every child has access to the quality education they deserve,” he said. “We stand with Governor Jindal and legislative leaders in their push to significantly improve the futures of thousands of Louisiana children.”
In addition to expansion of school vouchers and a tax rebate program, Jindal’s reform package also pledges to focus on expanding autonomous charter schools, enhancing teacher quality, and shifting more accountability to school leaders, among other initiatives.